By Biodun Busari
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said it was not behind the recent attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as accused by the Nigeria Police.
IPOB, therefore, accused the police of blackmail, reiterating that the group was “not interested in this Nigeria’s forthcoming elections in 2023.”
The Imo State Police Command said the gunmen that attacked the INEC office in Oru West local government of the state on Sunday were IPOB members and its militia wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Mike Abattam, the state police spokesperson said the assailants used improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to attack the electoral body’s facility.
Reacting on Monday, IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement said, the Nnamdi Kanu-led group had no hand in the attack.
“We, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu wish to disassociate ourselves from the recent attacks on the INEC office in Owerri Imo State.
“Neither IPOB nor ESN operatives has anything to do with Nigeria’s elections in 2023. We have never supported nor involved ourselves in any election obstruction or violence as a movement.
“As of today, IPOB is not interested in Nigeria and its electoral activities and has never asked anyone to carry out any attack on our behalf,” the statement partly said.
“Nigeria Government and her security agencies are working day and night to blackmail IPOB’s self-determination movement. There has never been any time that Nigeria Police carried out any public inquiry on all the numerous attacks and arsons that they blamed IPOB for.”
“ESN operatives never attacked the INEC office because we are not interested in this Nigeria’s forthcoming election in 2023. Those attacking INEC facilities are working to blackmail IPOB,” IPOB added.